25th June End Violence Against Women Campaign – Orange Day!

unnamedThe theme for this months awareness is about reversing the funding shortfall for initiatives to prevent and end violence against women and girls!  From July 13-16 the Third International Conference Financing for Development will take place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  It will be preceded by a two day civil society forum.  A very concrete action is to find out if your government is participating in the Conference on Financing for Development.  What position will your government take?  Has your government  a position with regard to funding gender equality and women’s and girls empowerment?

AWID (Association for Women’s Rights in Development) have published a study ‘New Actors, New Money, New Conversations.’ Full Report Here  You may find this an interesting report …. It is 52 pages divided into 4 main headings – Research Findings; How is Support being Disbursed?; Examples of Partnership Involving Women’s Organizations and Funds and Current Challenges and Opportunities for Leveraging Resources for Women’s Rights Organizations.  Pages 47 – 50 online some opportunities for new conversations.

There are eight core propositions – gender power structures and substructures; change requires women’s collective action and power; transformative change with a full compliment of rights – civil, political, economic, social and cultural; gender equality cannot be left to be brought about by market forces; the role of new actors in development cannot be ignored; the fruits of transformative change cannot be taken for granted, but must be defended, preserved and sustained; resources are needed for change; and mobilization of resources for women’s rights organizing is a collective responsibility.

Some quotations from the June 19th Addis Ababa Accord of the Third International Conference Financing for Development on gender inclusion.  Is this enough for Gender Justice?  Economic growth appears in paragraph 1 – sounds like business as usual to me.

Paragraph 1 … Our goal is to end poverty and hunger, and to achieve sustainable development in its three dimensions through promoting inclusive economic growth, protecting the environment, and promoting social inclusion. We commit to respect all human rights, including the right to development. We will ensure gender equality and women’s and girls’ empowerment.

Paragraph 6  We reaffirm that achieving gender equality, empowering all women and girls, and the full realization of their human rights are essential to achieving sustained, inclusive, and equitable economic growth and sustainable development. We reiterate the need for gender mainstreaming, including targeted actions and investments in the formulation and implementation of all financial, economic, environmental and social policies. We commit to implement transformative policy actions to ensure women’s equal rights, access and opportunities for participation and leadership in the economy.

Paragraph 20   Evidence shows that gender equality, women’s empowerment and women’s full and equal participation and leadership in the economy are vital to achieve sustainable development and significantly enhance economic growth and productivity. We recommit to adopt and strengthen sound policies and enforceable legislation for the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls at all levels, and to eliminate gender-based violence and discrimination all its form. We also commit to promote social inclusion in our domestic policies. We will promote and enforce non-discriminatory laws, social infrastructure and policies for the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls at all levels, to enable women’s full and equal participation in the economy, as well as their equal access to decision making processes and leadership.

Paragraph 29  … promote gender sensitive budgeting and tracking.

Paragraph 36  … We will work towards harmonizing the various initiatives on sustainable business and financing, identifying gaps, including in relation to gender equality, and strengthening the mechanisms and incentives for compliance.

Paragraph 40   … We further encourage the private sector to contribute to advancing gender equality through striving to ensure women’s full and productive employment and decent work, equal pay for work of equal value, and equal opportunities, as well as protecting them against discrimination and abuse in the workplace. We support the UN Global Compact’s Women Empowerment Principles and encourage increased investments in female-owned companies or businesses.

Paragraph 67    … We welcome efforts by new development banks to develop safeguard systems in open consultation with stakeholders, and encourage all new and existing development banks to establish or maintain social and environmental safeguards systems, including on human rights, gender equality and women’s empowerment, that are transparent, effective, efficient, and time-sensitive.

We are well aware of the feminization of poverty so what is said of eradicating poverty and implementing social protection floors?  This is what your government is committing to if they attend the conference in Addis Ababa?  Will it make a difference in your country?

Paragraph 12   Delivering social protection and essential public services for all: To end poverty in all its forms everywhere and finish the unfinished business of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), we commit to a new social compact. In this effort, we will provide fiscally sustainable and nationally appropriate social protection systems and measures for all, including floors, with a focus on those furthest below the poverty line and the vulnerable. We also encourage countries to consider setting nationally appropriate spending targets for quality investments in essential public services for all, including health, education, energy, water and sanitation, consistent with national sustainable development strategies. We will make every effort to meet the needs of all communities through delivering high quality services that make effective use of resources. We commit to commensurate international support for these efforts, and will explore the most effective, efficient and coherent funding modalities to mobilize additional resources, building on country-led experiences.

Winifred

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